Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pizza, Pastry and Laughs!

I was out last night to see an advanced screening of Pineapple Express (which is VERY funny- I laughed harder than I have laughed at any other movie in a long time through out the entire movie).

We headed to dinner at the California Pizza Kitchen (118 Shawan Road, 21030) before hand. We were very surprised to see how busy it was for a Wednesday night. When we left at 6:15 there was a wait (I over heard that there some power out near by so that may have been the cause of the crowd). The service was good and so was the atmosphere.

We started with a new item called Garlic Cheese Foccia with Checca- Italian-style pizza bread topped with Mozzarella cheese, garlic and herbs, hearth baked and served with a combination of fresh Roma tomatoes, basil, garlic and extra-virgin olive oil. It wasn’t greasy and had those big air bubbles like pizza gets. I was good.

I had the Thai Chicken Pizza- Pieces of chicken breast marinated in a spicy peanut-ginger and sesame sauce, Mozzarella cheese, green onions, bean sprouts, julienne carrots, cilantro and roasted peanuts. This was also good and had a nice kick to it.


The hubby had the Pesto Crème Penne- Penne pasta with a basil pine nut pesto cream sauce, sun-dried tomatoes and Parmesan cheese and he added chicken. It was also good except he isn’t a big fan of the sun-dried tomatoes so I ate the ones he didn’t.


We had a few minutes before we need to head to the movie theater so as we walked over to Greeting and Readings I was surprise to see a Vaccaro’s Italian Pastry. I didn’t know one open here and it isn’t listed on their website. So I eagerly headed in (there was a nice size line) and got an Amaretto Tiramisu. It was yummy! It was smooth and very flavorful. My only complaint about it is I would have liked it a bit colder!


California Pizza Kitchen on UrbanspoonVaccaro's Italian Pastry on Urbanspoon


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Heading to Maine and they tell me not to eat Lobster

How ironic that a few days before I head out on my trip through New England the FDA puts out problems with Lobster- are they trying to make me cry?

So in the end here is what they are saying- FDA warns against eating lobster liver (Tomalley) but the meat is fine. A red tide (algae bloom) is the cause of this and the high levels of toxins that cause paralytic shellfish poisoning. Symptoms usually appear within two hours of exposure- including tingling and numbness of the mouth, face or neck, muscle weakness, headache and nausea.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Bennigan's, Steak & Ale Close, File for Bankruptcy Protection

I was driving around and heard on the radio this morning so I went home and read it on the Wall Street Journal that Bennigan's and Steak & Ale have closed their doors and filed for Chapter 7 , shuttering more than 300 locations and letting go of thousands of employees. This is one of the country's largest restaurant bankruptcies. The chains are liquidating and aren't likely to re-open. Late Monday afternoon mangers were told they were not to open for business the following day and that there wasn't enough money to pay employees the rest of the week.

Tuesday-Today in Food History

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Today in food history:
  • National Lasagna Day (One of my favorite comfort foods)
  • St. Martha's Day, patron saint of butlers, dietitians, cooks, innkeepers, waitresses.
  • 1977 Buffalo, New York declared this day 'Chicken Wing Day' in honor of the famous Buffalo Chicken Wings, created by Teressa Bellissimo in October, 1964. Buffalo Wings were created by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York, for her son and some friends for a midnight snack.
  • 1984 Fred Waring, musician, died. Frederick Osius worked on improving the electric blender, and went to Waring for financial backing. Waring backed its development, in part, so he could puree raw vegetables for the ulcer diet his doctors prescribed. The Waring Blender (originally called the Miracle Mixer) debuted in 1937 and sold for $29.75. By 1954 one million Waring Blendors had been sold.

Monday, July 28, 2008

New England Road Trip

This upcoming weekend my Husband and I leave on our 10 day New England Road Trip. We are heading to some of the following places:
  • Mystic, CT
  • Boston, MA
  • Bar Harbor, ME
  • One last place we haven't picked yet (maybe NH somewhere)
If anyone has been to any of these places and has a place we should try let me know by email of comment. Thanks!

Farmer's Market at The Avenue

Every Friday, 10am-1pm through the month of October.

I went to an early movie and thought I would stop by here to check things out. It was very small- only about 6 stands. Everyone had all the same stuff basically at the same prices. There was mostly corn, green beans, cantaloupe, watermelon, squish, honey and plants.

I brought my my corn and green beans from Brad's Produce. I got half dozen ears of corn for $2.50 and an over flowing quart of green beans for $3.00.



Bel-Loc Diner

1700 E Joppa Rd
Parkville, MD 21234
410-668-2525

When you walk into the diner you feel like you are stepping back into the ‘50s- and the waitresses and hostess look and seem like they have been working there since the ‘50s. Its atmosphere has it typical diner feel and look. The menu hosts your typical diner fare- burgers, sandwiches, breakfast and pies. We headed here this past Friday night. I was a little surprised that the menu was as small as it was compared with other menus I have seen at diners.

We both started with a cup of the Maryland Crab soup. It was good with lots of crab. Nice spice to it. We also noticed here that food is service quick.

I had the Bel-Loc Burger- which I was told was like a Big Mac. In a sense it was except for the secret sauce. It was 2 patties, lettuce, tomatoes and pickles layered between 3 bun pieces. Since it had not sauce I asked for mayo and bit into my pile o’ burger. The patties were wide and more are the thinner size but since there were 2 patties you had enough beef. The burger had great flavor and was very juicy- it gets a bit messy but the bun soaks up most of the juices. It was a pretty satisfying burger- add some bacon and sauce and it may become one of my favorite ones! It was served with chips- next time give me some fries.

My husband had one of the open faced sandwiches covered in gravy. He had the Beef and Gravy- the beef was one of the burger patties covered in mounds of dark brown gravy and grilled onions. He also enjoyed the beef but said he dint care much for the gravy (and there was a lot of it- he ended up scrapping most of it off and it with out it). It was served with fries and coleslaw. The slaw was pretty good how ever the side of fries seemed to be smaller than a small fry at McDonalds.

For desert I tried a slice of their coconut cream pie. I wasn’t sure where the coconut was because besides the garnish on top I didn’t find much shredded coconut. You could taste coconut so I am assuming they use a lot of coconut flavoring or extract to flavor the pie. It was ok but I have had better.

Overall, it’s and average place. It wouldn’t be my first choice to go for diner food but if I wanted something quick and a skip from my house I would go again. I wouldn’t mind trying the breakfast. Also after just doing some reading they serve some good homemade milkshakes.

You can see both meals here

Bel-Loc Diner on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Frisco Grille & Cantina

8865 Stanford Blvd.
Columbia, MD 21045
410-312-4907
www.friscogrille.com

My husband found this place. His newest kick is micro-brew (craft-brew) beers and even wants to dabble in home brewing. So he set up a dinner with us and his friend who also home brews. Frisco Grille and Cantina serves south-western style food and vast selection of craft-brewed beers and tequila. It is located in one of the many strip plazas of Columbia- hidden within the maze of them.


We all started with a drink- I had the house margarita and the boys tried a beer. The house margarita was good except the glass had a weird curve to it which made it a bit hard to drink from without things being spilled a little bit. We then had Ken’s Chorizo-Queso Obsession- spicy chorizo sausage, grilled and mixed with queso cheese sauce. It was average but lacked some flavor and spice. We thought it could be kicked up a notch. We also ran out chips and still had almost half of the sauce left. Neither of us thought to ask for more chips since we didn’t want to fill up before our main dish.


For my main dish I had the Steak Enchilada- two flour tortillas dipped in a homemade enchilada sauce and then grilled crispy (wasn't very crispy) all wrapped around Monterey Jack cheese. It was also served with sour cream, salsa fresca, and guacamole. I was a little taken back at how small the two Enchiladas were. They were however, very tasty. I was just left craving a bit more to fill me up (wish I asked for more chips). The flavor and taste was good.


The guys had burritos (one had a chicken and then other had a chorizo). The burritos were an extra large flour tortilla and stuffed with beans, Mexican rice, salsa fresca, and a mild chipotle pepper BBQ sauce. The guys both agreed the BBQ sauce was a great touch. The burritos were large and very satisfying.


The service was good and atmosphere was relaxed. The prices are very reasonable. My only complaint was the small portions of certain things. My Husband and I agree that would be going back… I am looking forward to trying the draft root beer and the chili infused risotto cakes.


Frisco Grill and Cantina on Urbanspoon




Frisco Burritos on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 26, 2008

National Cheesecake Day

I found out this great deal from A Side of Cheerios- Thank you!

July 30th is National Cheesecake Day and The Cheesecake Factory is celebrating 30 years with 1978 prices... Cheesecake slices will be $1.50 (dine-in only and 1 per guest)

Baby Night

On the topic of Birches I found that they are having a Baby Night on August 13th. Here is what they say about Baby Night:
"Wednesday, August 13, 2007 in our Second Floor Dining Room!
Special Menu for Children Under 5!
Come and Mix and Mingle with Fellow Neighbors"

The information is under the menu button and then July Festivities.

Who is at the wrong?

I just got done reading a post on Dining@Large called The Split check and other horrors. The post is about Birches and a large dinner party of 27 that was set up before hand as a private party (confirmed menu, price and reservation time) and how when they arrived at the dinner they wanted split checks and their behavior through out the dinner and their interaction with the restaurant staff and owner. So stop reading my post for a minute and jump over and read The Split check and other horrors before continuing here.

Back in May my Husband and I hosted my own Graduation/3oth Birthday dinner at Olive & Sesame II.... see my post.

This was my comment on Dining@Large:

I agree Birches is the correct one. I just "hosted" a party for about 13 people for my graduation and only 1 person paid for the bill. If they really wanted to pay by family just have one person put it on a card and then everyone pay that person. I have done that a million times when getting tickets to things or just eating out with another friend or something. The party themselves started problems right off the bat being an hour late! I also agree that the host should have gone to talk to the owner in person that night and should have asked questions when setting up the reservation.


Wow I can't believe how things turned out... If I was one of the wait staff that was being pestered about the bill I think I would have been in tears. However, like I said the party started off wrong being an hour late with no call. Preparations I am sure were done with food and so forth in the restaurant to have the party run smoothly but then to be an hour late with out calling. I would have called even if the majority of the party was going to be 15 minutes late.

So much is running through my mind- this post could go on forever. Make sure you check out Birches Homepage and read what they say under July Festivities under the menu button. I want to see what you think about this situation- leave a comment and let me know!



Friday, July 25, 2008

Local Places on TV

So I keep seeing a few episodes of Diners, Drive-ins and Dives on the Food Network where Guy visits some local places. It is sort of old news that he was in town- but the episodes keep replaying...

Here is were he has hit up:

Chaps Pit Beef
  • What Guy tried...
    Beef Sandwich - "Wow"
    Reuben - "Killer"
    Bulldog - "Didn't think it could get better"
    Chap's Special - "Good mouth food"
Broadway Diner
  • What Guy tried...
    Broadway Festival - "Know way you could have done it better"
    Potato Wrapped Salmon - "That is fantastic"
    Creole - "I'd come at 4 in the morning"
    Goulash - "it's melt in your mouth"
Blue Moon Cafe
  • What Guy tried...
    Captain Crunch French toast - "Mmm"
    Smoked Salmon Crepe - "You got to try this"
    Heuvos Rancheros - "Delicious"
    Meatroll - "In the dictionary Comfort Food has a picture of that"

New Additions to Towson Town Center

The Towson Town Center has been working hard on what seems a never ending expansion along Dulaney Valley Road. According tho their website the expansion will bring 30+ new retailers as well as 4 new restaurants to the center.

Some of the restaurants include:
  • Stoney River Legendary Steaks
  • P.F. Chang's
  • The Cheesecake Factory
Some of the new retailers are:
  • Burberry
  • XXI Forever
  • Lush
  • Sephora
  • Swarovski
  • Pottery Barn

My Candy Photo Won!

For all of you who live or work in the Baltimore area pick up a Copy of the B (free in orange boxes) on Friday, July 25, 2008 and look on page 3 is a copy of my picture that won the photo contest.

If you dont live in the Baltimore area go to this site www.bthesite.com and click on the picture of the paper on the upper left hand corner (where it says read today's B) and then go to page 3 and check out my picture!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Calling all bakers

Ok for those bakers out there who would be interested in making me this pie for me or making it and giving me a slice? I had a bad experience making meringue once (don't ask). I got it from the Everyday with Rachael Ray.

Peaches 'n' Cream Meringue



4 peaches, peeled and thinly sliced

1/2 cup dry white wine, or to taste

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar

4 large egg whites, at room temperature

Pinch of salt

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1 cup heavy cream, whipped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. In a medium bowl, combine the peaches, wine and 2 tablespoons of the sugar; refrigerate.
  2. In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the egg whites with the salt on high speed until fluffy. Reduce the speed to medium-high and gradually beat in the remaining 1 cup of sugar. Beat in the cornstarch, lemon juice and vanilla; continue beating until the meringue is stiff and shiny.
  3. Mound the meringue on the prepared baking sheet, shaping it evenly into an 8-inch circle. Reduce the oven heat to 250° and bake for 45 minutes, until pale in color. Turn off the heat and let the meringue cool in the oven for 45 minutes. Remove and let cool completely.
  4. To serve, invert the meringue onto a serving plate, top with the whipped cream and the prepared peaches and cut into wedges.


Photo by Stephen Scott Gross

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Summer Concert Picnic

My friend Sarah and I head to the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra concert Hocus Pocus at Oregon Ridge Park.  We joined the BSO in magical program of wizardry and adventure, culminating with fireworks display at the end of the evening. We enjoyed selections from Harry Potter, The Sorcerer's Apprentice and more!

We stopped at Wegman's before hand to take a picnic dinner with us.  I got the shrimp California roll and a Asian cucumber salad.  She got on of their hoagies.  At the concert we both also got a Sundae in a Cone which was interesting- they took one of the those twin top cake cones and put a rectangle shaped slab of vanilla ice cream and then  would put the chocolate sauce that hardens and nuts or sprinkles.  It melting way to fast  so I had to eat it in a hurry so I didn't get a picture.

We had a good time!  Not only did they play music form Harry Potter but they also played music from Hook, Lord of the Rings, Jaws, Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon, Pirates of the Caribbean and more.  The fireworks at the end were set to music and were a very good display.


Check out some pictures:

Buy Local Week

Just read the blog called the 7'oclock hour and found that it is Buy Local Week.

This is the goal: Pledge to "eat local, eat fresh!" during Buy Local Week...that's July 19th - 27th in 2008.

Stop by the homepage at check it out!

Stadium Food

Take me out to the ball game
Take me out to the crowd
Buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks

What is it with a baseball game and food? It doesn’t matter if it’s a funnel cake, hot dog, pit beef, chicken tenders, fries- but it all taste so good at a baseball game. As I sat at my seat off 3rd base I watched all the people walking around with all the different foods and the runners going up and down the stairs selling drinks and goodies- I couldn’t decide what I wanted for dinner last night.

I was also impressed with the amount of press that baseball food gets. Here are some interesting articles:

In end the kid in us got hot dogs, chicken tenders and fries.

* I am sad to say the O’s lost to the Blue Jays last night

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Tuesday-Today in Food History

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Today is food history:
  • National Penuche Day (Penuche is a fudgelike candy made of brown sugar, butter, and milk, usually with nuts)
  • 1822 Gregor (Johann) Mendel was born. Mendel was an Austrian botanist whose work was the foundation of the science of genetics. Working mainly with garden peas (some 28,000 plants over 7 years), he discovered what was to become know as the laws of heredity.
  • 1956 Curnonsky (Maurice Edmond Sailland) died. At the age of 84, he leaned too far out of his window and fell to his death. French writer, novelist, biographer, and gastronome. Curnonsky was known as the "Prince of Gastronomes," a title he was awarded in a public referendum in 1927, and a title no one else has ever been given. (Gastronome is a connoisseur of good food and drink; a gourmet)


Coconoaty Penuche Bars

Fine Living Top 10 Frozen Drinks

I am always up for a new drink to try so I found this newsletter in my inbox great. Some of the drinks I am not to sure about but some of the others I can't wait to try!

So check out the link: Top 10 Frozen Drinks



Monday, July 21, 2008

Rosemary Balsamic Chicken and Ravioli

I made this for a few people and they wanted my recipe. So here it is:

Chicken:

1 chicken breast per person

2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (enough to coat chicken- may need to add more)

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (enough to coat chicken- may need to add more)

2 stems rosemary, strip leaves up and chop

Salt and Black pepper to taste

2 garlic gloves (can use pre minced garlic check package for conversion)


Ravioli:

1 package of ravioli (I like pesto flavored- ad more if need for people)

3 tablespoons of butter cut into small pieces

2-3 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar (add more to taste)

2 plentiful handfuls of Parmigianino Reggiano cheese (or bagged Italian blend cheese)


Marinate chicken with the chicken ingredients in the refrigerator for at least 20 minutes to 8 hours.


Start ravioli- follow the ravioli package directions. Make sure to salt the water some. Drain when finished

Heat a medium non-stick pan over medium-high heat. Cook chicken for 10-12 minutes until juices run clear, turning occasionally. Make sure to add some of the marinated as you start cooking. (You can also grill the chicken)


When chicken is cooked midway start to prepare butter for ravioli. To a non-heated skillet, add butter and turn on moderate heat. Let the butter brown.


Once butter is browned add cooked ravioli to butter and mix together. Add balsamic vinegar and cook another minute or two. The vinegar will become thick. (You may need to add more vinegar and butter if it all get sucked up). Add cheese, salt and pepper.


You can either serve chicken whole with ravioli on the side or cut up the chicken and mix with ravioli. You can also add cooked asparagus or other veggie to mix.


Cooking Classes at Williams-Sonoma- Towson

Williams-Sonoma

825 Dulaney Valley Road

Towson, MD 21204
410-494-8800
Learn some new tricks from top chefs. Each week features a new dish for you to hone your skills with. Sounds like a perfect way to impress that special boy or girl of yours.

July 21 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Summer Entertaining Menu
July 28 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Summer Pies
August 4 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Backyard Barbecue
August 11 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Summer Cocktail Party
August 18 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Summer in Provence
August 25 : 7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Basic Panini
Price:
$45

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Local Starbucks closing

Starbucks announced July 1, 2008 that it wil be closing 600 stores.

Here are the local Starbucks that are closing:
  • Harborplace- 301 S. Light St.
  • Belevedere- 5911 York Rd.
  • Pikesville- 1433 Reisterstown Rd.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Artscape

www.artscape.org
Friday, Saturday & Sunday, July 18-20

Besides checking out all the forms of art dont forget the food. Here are some main attraction food vendors:
  • Asian Grill – Asian
  • Brass Elephant - crab cake & sausage
  • Boardwalk Fries
  • Hammerhead Seafood - Cajun
  • Dangerously Delicious Pies
  • Yabba Pot
  • Ostrowski's -sausage & fries

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Baltimore Restaurant Week Updates

New this year there are some restaurants who are offering special culinary experiences, such as wine pairings, cooking classes, tasting menus, etc. Check the site to see all offers.

Here are some examples:
  • Each diner who orders from Da Mimmo's Restaurant Week menu will receive a special gift to redeem on his or her next visit to the restaurant. The gifts range from a complimentary appetizer, a bottle of wine...all the way upto a $100 gift certificate. Everyone will win something.
  • The Black Olive will offer a red and white wine flight with three different Greek wine selections. White flight will be $12 and red flight $15.

Ginger Margaritas

Found this while surfing the net on Everyday with Rachael Ray and it sounds good.

1 bottle of tequila
1 cup Cointreau
6 ozs of limeade concentrate
4 cups ginger ale

Stir and serve!

Photo by Levi Brown

Talay Thai Grille

1911 Aliceanna St


Baltimore, MD 21231

(410) 563-9292

I met up with a teacher that I used to work with and moved away for lunch. Everything I have heard about this place is that it is very good. The walls are covered in paintings of Thai women.

I started with my favorite drink when I go to a Thai restaurant- Thai Ice Tea. I love it!

We decide to pick 2 dished and split it… and I am sorry to say for the life of my I can’t recall the second dish and my notebook I write in has gone missing! If it helps when you go on the lunch menu I think it was L-8. Each dish was around $8.95.

Each dish was served with a small salad and soup. The dressing on the salad was sweet but not overly sweet. The soup had a little kick to it and large pieces of chicken (wasn’t coconut milk based).

We did try an old Thai staple of Pad Thai. It was perfect. A lot of time when you order this it can be very dry but this had the perfect amount of sauce, sprouts, chicken and peanuts. A few reviews I had read said the dishes were soggy, however, I didn’t feel that they were.

The service was good and atmosphere was nice. I am looking forward to going back and trying it for dinner.

Talay Thai Grille on Urbanspoon

Basil Lemonade Recipe

Thanks to Dining Dish's post- I think I have found a recipe for the Basil Lemonade I tasted at the Baltimore Chef and Wine Experience. I can't wait to make it!!

Basil Lemonade Recipe
2 to 3 Lemons, juiced
4 Cups Water
¼ to ½ cup Fresh basil leaves
Sugar substitute or simple syrup

Add the lemon juice, water, and basil leaves to a blender/food processor. Strain the liquid to get rid of the processed basil leaves. Sweeten with sugar substitute or simple syrup to taste. Pour over ice. Enjoy.

Vin

I talked to the Chef of Vin at the Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience about the upcoming closing of the restaurant. The restaurant will be closing because of remodeling on August 3, 2008. They will still be participating in Restaurant Week.

Vin on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience '08

On Sunday, July 13, 2008 I had the opportunity to be invited the Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience at the Tremont Grand. There were food and wine experts from across the country. There was cooking demonstrations from local and national chefs, wines from all over the world and tasting from local chefs and authors. www.chefsandwine.org


Some of the featured quests were:

  • Sandra Pinckney (TV star, Reporter, Author)
  • Ted Allen (TV star, Author)
  • Warren Brown (TV star, Chef, Author)
  • Martha Hall Foose (Executive Chef of Viking Cooking School, Author)
  • Jerry Edwards (Corporate Chef & Owner, Chef’s Expressions)
  • Michael Costa (Executive Chef, PAZO)
  • Benjamin Erjavec (Executive Chef & Operating Partner, The Oceanaire Seafood Room)
  • Therese Harding (Chef, Classic Catering People)
  • Will Koch (Banquet Chef, Tremont Grand)
  • Kevin Miller (Executive Chef, Ixia)
  • Fabio Mura (Executive Chef, Blue Sea Grill)
  • Jerry Prllrgrino (Executive Chef, Corks)


I had an amazing time and met a lot of wonderful and extraordinary people. To see a list of a all participating exhibitors and presenters see my list.


The first cooking demonstration that I went to was Michael Costa (Pazo). He was making Grilled Pork Tenderloin Pinchos with Andalusian Spices & Caramelized Honey Aioli. He started with going over the proper butchering technique of pork tenderloin. He then showed how to make the Andalusian spice rub and moved onto how to make the aioli.


Next I moved on to a wine seminar with Monyka Berrocosa. She talked about the why and how of tasting technique. She covered the ‘Six S’s of Sipping with Style”. She also talked about pairing food with wine. Another tip she talked about was starting your own wine cellar (the amount of bottles doesn't matter the system does).


After that I then attended Ted Allen’s wine seminar “Dare to Pair” where he very enthusiastically covered beginner-friendly tips and approached to matching food and wine. We were given 2 whites and 2 reds and small plate of different foods (cheese, chicken, lemon, sun dried tomatoes, olives and chocolate). He had us take small bites of different foods and then sip on 2 different wines and decided which went best with it. For example, we tried the sun dried tomatoes with the reds and the olives with the 2 whites. His presentation was very fun and funny.


From there I moved on to exploring the many rooms that hosted the different exhibitors, food and wine tastings and quests. The food and drink was amazing. Each table was friendly and open to explaining their items. Some of my favorite items were Chili Marinated Skirt Steak with a Chimichurri sauce (Pisce’s), Pan seared Cod Cakes with Dill sauce (Lucy’s Irish Pub & Restaurant), and Gambas al Ajillo (La Tasca).

  • The skirt steak had a nice spice to it and was perfectly cooked
  • The cod cakes weren’t overly powering and didn’t have too much filling
  • The Gambas al Ajillo (shrimp) was perfectly cooked and had the right about of kick


I also saw Ted Allen’s cooking demonstration. Once again he was very enthusiastic. He explained things with great detail so that you perfectly understood each step of the recipe. He made a Pan-roasted salmon with sweet tomato vinaigrette and Rosemary chicken with summer tomatoes and olives.


Overall, my experience was wonderful. When I left I felt like a little kid who just met Dora the Explorer or who just got the brand new bike of their dreams. I recommend to everyone who is a foodie that they should consider going next year- I know I will be! Downtown Baltimore did a wonderful job with the Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience!!


To see my photo album from the event click on the album below:

Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience '08

Where you can BYOB

Thanks to the blog called Baltimore Grows and their post called BYO Baltimore. I found a great list on places you can dine that are BYOB. The list is from Winesource in Hampden. Here is the list.

Baltimore Grows makes a good point about called the restaurant before hand to double check because some places change their rules or may have even gotten a liquor license.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Free Ice Cream

Found out from the blog B More Sweet that Eddie's grocery stores will be give out free Ice Cream on Saturday, July 19. 2008 from 11 am to 2 pm.

* only at these 2 addresses 5113 Roland Avenue and 6213 N. Charles Street

Baltimore makes Bon Appetit's Hot 10 List

Found out today after read a post on Dining@Large that a deli in Baltimore made Bon Appetit's Hot 10 List.

It was number 8 and here is what it said: Dogwood Deli
- The sandwiches at the tiny upstairs counter are the main draw. In summer, we like the lemony albacore and dill salad on marble rye.
911 W. 36th St.; 410-889-0952

Tuesday-Today in Food History

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Today in history:
  • Today is National Tapioca Pudding Day and Gummi Worm Day
  • 1869 Hippolyte Mege Mouries patented margarine. Emperor Napoleon III had offered a prize for a suitable substitute for butter, for use by the French Navy.
  • 1907 Orville Redenbacher was born. Founder of the gourmet popcorn company.

Melting Pot

418-420 York Road

Towson, MD

(410) 821-6358

www.meltingpot.com


July 12, 2008 was my Husband and I 5-year wedding anniversary and this year it was in my husband’s hand to pick where we went. We have been here in the past but it has been a couple years sine we have been. We were seated on the 3rd level ( I never realized it had that many levels). Once we were sat we were presented with a card wishing us a Happy Anniversary and the entire wait staff signed it.


We decided to go with the “Big Night Out’ which includes a cheese fondue, salad, main course and a desert fondue. We pick the Fondue Fusion theme ($88 per couple).


We started with the Cheddar Cheese fondue which is aged, medium-sharp Cheddar and Emmenthaler Swiss cheese, larger beer, garlic and seasonings. It was served with 3 types of bread (French, honey wheat and rosemary), vegetables (carrots, clearly, and cauliflower) and Granny Smith apples. It was good but we both agreed it could have used a bit more seasoning.


From there we moved onto the salads. My Husband had the Caesar (your typical Caesar salad) and I had the Tropical, which had romaine and field greens, tomatoes, mangos and hearts of palms with a light creamy citrus dressing and topped with coconut-encrusted cashews. My salad was good except it had too much dressing on it and a few too many hearts of palm. The coconut-encrusted cashews were do die for (I wanted a bowl to eat by themselves).


For our Entrée selection with got the Fondue Fusion which came with lobster tail, filet mignon medallion, jerk-seasoned sirloin, vanilla rum chicken, marinated pork tenderloin, zesty peppered shrimp, butternut squash ravioli and fresh vegetables (squash, broccoli and mushroom caps) and we had the Mojo cooking style, which was a Caribbean-seasoned bouillon with fresh garlic and citrus juice. The entrée is also served with a mixture of Caribbean influenced dipping sauces. My favorites were the shrimp, lobster and jerk-seasoned sirloin (but my husband doesn’t do seafood) and my Husband’s favorites were the jerk-seasoned sirloin and filet mignon medallion. We both agreed the fresh veggies were very good in the bouillon but you don’t want to leave it in to long or it gets over powered with the flavor. We both also agree that the Mojo style is our favorite cooking style (I need to find a recipe for it at home since we fondue at home).


For desert we had the Chocolate S’mores, which was milk chocolate, topped with marshmallow cream and then flambéed. It is served with strawberries, bananas, cheesecake, pound cake, brownies, marshmallows (Oreo coated and graham cracker coated) and graham cracker slices. Who could go wrong with chocolate fondue- everything was good!


Overall, everything was good. Our waiter was pleasant and wished us a happy anniversary a few times and was always on top of refills and our needs. The prices are a bit high (for cooking it yourself) but you always have a good time and the food is always pretty good as so is the service. I recommend you at least try this place at least once for a meal or just desert.


Check out some pictures by clicking on the album below:


Our 5 Yr Anni


Melting Pot on Urbanspoon

Lucky Inn

8924 Waltham Woods Road

North Plaza Shopping Center

Baltimore, MD  21234

410-665-8383

I was out last week picking some things up and was hungry for lunch and they had a sign outside advertising lunch specials at $4.50 so I thought I would give it a try.  There are 30 lunch specials listed at this price.  The offer is good Mon-Sat from 11 am – 3 pm.  All of the meals are served with pork fried rice and a fortune cookie.


I tried my staple favorite of General Tso’s Chicken.  I got 5 large pieces of perfectly cooked chicken.  The coating was still crispy with the sauce on it.  The rice was perfectly seasoned- so many times I get fried rice and all I taste is oil and nothing else.  The broccoli was also perfectly cooked and not to hard or over cooked.  The sauce had a kick and wasn’t weak or to much heat.  It was a perfect portion for lunch and some of the better General Tso’s I have had.

This is a great lunch special and the food was ready in less than 10 minutes.  The price is perfect for lunch and you get a good amount of food for the price.  I can’t wait to try it for dinner.



Lucky Inn Chinese on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 14, 2008

Updates

Wow things have been busy! I am behind on posts- I have 2 restaurant posts to do and a post about the Baltimore Chefs and Wine Experience... so bear with me please!

I am also working on getting a logo to update my page!

So keep your eyes open this week for special things to happen!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Morton's Steakhouse Bourbon Tasting

July 31
6-7:30pm

Morton's of Baltimore Hosts Premium Bourbon Event Featuring Whiskey Professor Steve Cole. The evening's menu includes some of Morton's signature hors d'oeuvres such as Sea Scallops wrapped in Bacon, Petite Filet Mignon Sandwiches, Miniature Jumbo Lump Crab Cakes and Petite Lamb Chops.

Cost is $45 per person. For reservations, call 410-547-8255.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

RESTAURANT WEEKS in Howard County

July 21 to August 3, 2008

Head to the website to see who is participating. Check out the restaurants' websites for locations and menus. Just like Baltimore's Restaurant Week lunch is $20.08 and dinner $30.08

Friday, July 11, 2008

California Pizza Kitchen Closed

I was just reading the blog Baltimore Grows and the post about the California Pizza Kitchen closing in the Inner Harbor at the end of June. I haven't been to the Inner Harbor in awhile and hadn't heard about this any place else.

No Way Jose Cafe

38 E. Cross St.
Baltimore, MD 21230
410-752-2837

When you walk in you are greeted by brightly decorated interior with strung lights and colorful signs and a narrow bar. You can then head on back o the seating area that has tables and booths. The walls are adorned with a Corona themed mural. Once you have a seat you are given a menu and bowl of homemade chips and salsa (the salsa has some kick). The menu hosts some typical Mexican fare from tacos, enchiladas, burritos, etc.

I had the beef soft taco and was impressed with the taste but the presentation was different than any other soft taco I have seen. Instead of a small shell it was one large shell.

(Cell phone Pic not the best sorry)


My friend had the Chicken Burrito, which came with beans and rice. All the ingredients looked fresh and tasty.
The sign outside the door hosts many happy hour drink specials like $3 margaritas.

(Cell phone Pic not the best sorry)


The food was good and the service was welcoming. Next time I am in the area I will be heading back. I want to try one of the margaritas I hear are good!

The Extras:
Monday is half-price burger night with $2 Yuenglings. Tuesday and Wednesday nights feature fajitas for two, which includes over-sized orders of fajitas and a pitcher of margarita or sangria for $20.

No Way Jose Café on Urbanspoon

Uncork the Fun!

This came in the mail yesterday... Great Grapes

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